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Health education programs receive continued funding in Del Rio/Winter Garden Region (9-20-00)

Funding appropriated by the Texas Legislature assures increased education and clinical training this year for students and health care professionals in the Del Rio/Winter Garden Region through The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and its South Texas/Border Region Health Education Initiative (STBI).

In 1995, with local educators and health professionals, the Health Science Center began educational programs as part of the South Texas/Border Region Health Education Initiative, a state legislative project to enhance training in the region for students interested in health careers. The initiative has similar programs in the Corpus Christi/Coastal Bend, Laredo/Mid Rio Grande Border and Lower Rio Grande Valley regions. The current programs were reviewed by the Del Rio/Winter Garden Region Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Board.

Winter Garden Region programs were first funded by the STBI in FY 2000. Continuing programs in the area are budgeted to receive $500,000 for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2001. An unallocated $31,000 will fund programs throughout FY2001.

The STBI provides ongoing support for occupational therapy education at Winter Garden Border community health centers, dental student education at area clinics, the vocational nursing program at Southwest Texas Junior College and health career opportunity programs to inspire high school students to pursue careers in health care.

As before, the STBI will continue to provide distance learning support, library access services and program evaluation. Student housing, educational and student support, and continuing education will be provided by the AHEC.

For more local information, contact Teresa Kypuros, director of the Winter Garden Area Health Education Center, (830) 775-4500.

Contact: Will Sansom